Preliminary Proposed Nutrition Principles to Guide Industry Self-Regulatory Efforts, Project No. P094513 #00322

Submission Number:
Andrea Notch
4C's of Alameda County
Initiative Name:
Preliminary Proposed Nutrition Principles to Guide Industry Self-Regulatory Efforts, Project No. P094513
July 5, 2011 Dear Secretary Vilsack, Chairman Leibowitz, Director Frieden, and Commissioner Hamburg: Thank you for your efforts through the Interagency Working Group (IWG) to reduce unhealthy food marketing to children. I am in strong support of the Proposed Nutrition Principles to Guide Industry Self-Regulatory Efforts. With the rise of chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, and other mysterious disorders like autism, industry needs to take greater responsibility for their marketing strategies. As a child health and nutrition representative for child care providers of the 4C s of Alameda County, I am all too familiar with the toll that day-in and day-out marketing of unhealthful food has on children and families. While the food and beverage industry pursues bigger profits, parents are more and more confused as to what foods to purchase for their families. As the Strategic Alliance s recent study Claiming Health: Front-of-Package Labeling of Children's Food found, fifty-eight of the "Better-for-You" children's products actually contained added sugars, were high in saturated fats, low in fiber, made with artificial colors and lacked fruits and vegetables. The average parent feeding their family on a budget does not have the time or resources to research the most healthful food items before going to the store. We as a nation are under the assumption that the government takes care of us, hence, we believe what our food labels state. Unfortunately, we are finding time and time again that this is not the case. We need stronger standards on food labels to ensure that families have the knowledge needed to make healthy choices for their families. I agree with IWG's requirement that foods marketed to children should contain real-food ingredients like fruits, vegetables and whole grains, while limiting harmful nutrients such as sodium, added sugar and saturated fat. I thank the IWG for its strong nutrition and marketing guidelines, and urge you to finalize them by the end of the year: the health of America's children and families depend on it. Sincerely, Andrea Notch References: